Posts Tagged ‘Conservation Easements’

Monday, July 29, 2019

Forever Wild, ORDA and Adirondack Legal History

There are more than three million acres of Forest Preserve in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks today. Yet, the most consequential New York State Court decision restricting the ways we can develop and use the “forever wild” Preserve was all about a few acres of land below Mt. Van Hoevenberg, close to Lake Placid.

There, in 1929, the state planned a “bobsleigh run or slide on state lands in the forest preserve.” About 2500 trees would need cutting to create the bobsled course for the 1932 Olympics. The lower court, the Appellate Division, Third Department, ruled that this activity was unconstitutional on grounds that this was wild forest and therefore must be preserved in its wild state, stating that “we must preserve it in its wild nature, its trees, its rocks, its streams. It must always retain the character of a wilderness.” » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Questions Surround New Frontier Town Campground Trail System

The new Frontier Town state campground was opened to great fanfare just before the July 4th holiday this year. The campground is now fully developed with campsites, trails, and amenities such as showers, playgrounds, horse stalls, pavilions, and scenic lookouts on the banks of the Schroon River, among other features. Construction of the new Paradox Brewery is well underway.

The Frontier Town Campground is designed to pay homage to the western themes of the old Frontier Town wild west amusement park that was in its heyday in the decades after the Second World War. The amusement park had become dilapidated over the years and the new campground was a State intervention to help restore the site to some form of commercial use. The main gate has a western design and many of the shower and bathroom buildings have western saloon facades. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 13, 2019

51,000 Acres, Rights Acquired in Raquette Boreal Forest Area

Three Rivers ForestThe Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit, has announced it has acquired ownership and rights on roughly 51,300 total acres in the Northwestern Adirondack Park.

The Three Rivers Forest properties include exceptional northern hardwood timberland near the headwaters of three major rivers flowing north to the St. Lawrence River – the Raquette, Oswegatchie and Grasse. The lands were purchased from investor-owners who had previously purchased former paper company lands, including former tracts of the Champion and International paper companies. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 11, 2019

Commission on the Adirondacks in the 21st Century: A Status Report

Governor Mario Cuomo greets school children at Adirondack conference, Silver Bay Conference Center, in 1994. Photo by Ken Rimany, the Association for the Protection of the AdirondacksAdirondack Almanack readers may recall that in 2018 Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget office introduced legislation which would have changed the way the state pays taxes on the public’s Forest Preserve. It was proposed to change the ad valorem system, in place since 1886, to a payment in lieu of taxes.

Local school districts and supervisors were alarmed by the negative consequences of the proposed change, as were Forest Preserve advocates. In response, legislative staff sought background information about how the Real Property Tax Law applied to the Adirondack Park, historically speaking. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Bauer: Long Pond Easement Changes A Bad Deal

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently wrapped up a public hearing on proposed changes to the 18,950-acre Long Pond Conservation Easement located in the Town of Colton, St. Lawrence County. The state purchased this easement for $1.667 million in 1999 and the taxpayers of New York State have paid the state’s share of all local taxes on the property since then. The DEC held this public hearing because it wants to rewrite this conservation easement to allow 15 leased residential camps to remain on the property in perpetuity.

At the time that the state purchased the Long Pond Conservation Easement in 1999 there were six camps that were allowed to remain on the tract in perpetuity due to special deeded rights. At that time there were nearly three dozen other smaller hunting and fishing camps on the property that were grandfathered and given exclusive hunting and fishing rights for 15 years. The 1999 easement purchase included blanket public recreational rights, but they were deferred until 2014 to keep the peace among the club members and local politicians. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 26, 2018

Questions Raised Over Adirondack Conservation Easements

lumberyard by Mike LynchWhile some conservationists are concerned about what they perceive as recently increased logging in the Adirondack Park, New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation has begun providing more information about the nearly 781,000 acres of privately owned timberlands covered by state conservation easements.

Those agreements govern many of the larger logging tracts and prevent other commercial development. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 2, 2017

DEC Planning New Road East Of Carry Falls Reservoir

Raquette Road alternativesThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing to amend both the 5 Mile Conservation Easement (CE) Interim Recreation Management Plan (IRMP) and the CE portion of the Raquette Boreal Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP) to construct a road between the Five Mile and the Kildare Conservation Easements in Hopkinton, St. Lawrence County.

The project involves the construction of a new road approximately 1.25 miles in length. The road will provide access to many miles of motor vehicle roads on the Kildare Easement Lands. It will also provide non-motorized recreational access to the adjacent Raquette River Wild Forest and Raquette-Jordan Boreal Primitive Area. » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 13, 2017

DEC to Develop Recreation Plan for Croghan Tract Easement

crogan tract mapThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is drafting a Recreation Management Plan (RMP) for the Croghan Tract Conservation Easement.

The privately owned Conservation Easement encompasses approximately 12,816 acres located in the towns of Croghan and Watson in Lewis County.

The Croghan Tract shares approximately 8.8 miles of boundary with Adirondack Forest Preserve lands, including the Pepperbox Wilderness Area and Watson’s East Triangle Wild forest. A scoping session with the public was held in 2001. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

CATS Conserves 128 Acres in Beekmantown

DeNeale Property wetlands & woodsChamplain Area Trails (CATS) recently conserved 128-acres on Murtaugh Hill in Beekmantown through a conservation easement donated by Dick and Leanna DeNeale. The wooded property is set in a large forested area where limiting development is expected to help maintain habitat connectivity for wildlife, protect clean water, and allow for a hiking trail.

The DeNeale Property was used as a research site for a SUNY Plattsburgh Wildlife Ecology and Management Class and is expected to be used for additional studies because of its proximity to the campus, varieties of habitat, and ecological features.  The most recent study found that it had higher species richness and population densities than a forested site at lower elevation several miles away because of its intact habitat and lower level of human impact. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Mike Carr Discusses Leaving Nature Conservancy

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter 16 years on the job, Mike Carr says the time is right for him to step down as the executive director of the Adirondack chapter of the Nature Conservancy and to work full time for its affiliate, the Adirondack Land Trust.

Carr was instrumental in negotiating the deal to acquire 161,000 acres of Finch, Pruyn timberland for $110 million in 2007. Over the ensuing years, it sold 65,000 acres to the state. Most of the rest were protected with conservation easements.

The state purchased the last Finch, Pruyn parcel – the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract – in April. Over the next few years, the Nature Conservancy will oversee the removal of hunting camps on the Finch lands, but its work on the blockbuster deal is largely done.

“It feels like the right time,” Carr said when asked why he chose to change jobs now.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Upper Saranac River Conservation Workshop Wednesday

working landscapes mapLake Placid Land Conservancy (LPLC) will be hosting a Community Conservation Workshop at the Saranac Lake Free Library on Wednesday, September 7, 2016, from 5:30 to 7 pm.

The workshop is intended for landowners and community members who are interested in discussing conservation and stewardship of private lands in the Saranac Lake region.

Through a recent mapping initiative, LPLC identified important land use characteristics and attributes (including important ecological, political and economic characteristics) on almost 100,000 acres of private lands in the region. LPLC staff will provide an overview of its mapping initiative and conduct interactive mapping exercises for its Saranac Lake focus area. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Easy Camping At John Dillon Park

Grampus LakeMy canoe buddies and I decided to camp this year at John Dillon Park, just north of Long Lake, for our annual canoe outing. We were pleased to find many amenities that made for a pleasant camping experience. Six of us stayed in two neighboring lean-tos in a wooded section of the park – very private, shielded from other campers. Each lean-to had plank beds (no pads) and separate fireplaces, with a wheel chair accessible shared outhouse. Paul Smiths students on staff for the summer helped us carry our canoes to the water and schlep our gear to and from the lean-tos in their club cars.

When John Dillon Park opened in 2006 it was the first park in the country designed to provide a wilderness experience for people with disabilities. The 198-acre park is the centerpiece of International Paper’s donation of a 15,802-acre conservation easement to New York State, in honor of John Dillon, retired president of the company.  Mr. Dillon has close ties to the Adirondacks – born in Schroon Lake, raised in Newcomb, and a 1958 graduate of Paul Smiths College. He retired in 2003 and frequents the park often, as a proud steward. The easement protects the wilderness character of the Park compatible with the surrounding working forests. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

DEC: Biological Information ‘Not Applicable’

Picture1In its latest Recreational Management Plan for 19,000 acres near Rainbow Lake, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation appears disinterested in biological information, much less in taking actions protective of sensitive biological resources.

The Kushaqua Conservation Easement is 19,000 acres of managed private timberland, formerly International Paper Lands, now Lyme Timber lands, located in the Towns of Brighton and Franklin. The tract lies north of Rainbow Lake and Buck Pond Campground, west of Loon Lake, east of Meacham Lake, and much of the tract is surrounded by Forest Preserve in the form of the Debar Mountain Wild Forest. Kushaqua was placed under a conservation easement acquired by the State in 2004. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

ATV, Snowmobile, Truck Trails Planned For Kushaqua Tract

Western_Ridges_LoonLakeMountainsThe New York State Department of Conservation is seeking comments on their Recreational Management Plan (RMP) for the Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement Lands in the northern Adirondack Park. The plan includes extensive development for motor vehicles, including more than 100 miles of roads to be used by cars and trucks, snowmobiles, and ATVs, and six new parking lots.

Comments are being accepted until September 18, 2015. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Success In Lake George Campaign To Preserve Pinnacle

Pinnacle Lake georgeThe Pinnacle, the Bolton landmark visible from Lake George and the Cat and Thomas Mountains Preserve, will be safely protected from development in perpetuity.  More than five years after Ernest Oberer first proposed building houses on the ridgeline, the Lake George Land Conservancy exercised its option to purchase the property in May, two days before the option was scheduled to expire.

By then, the Conservancy had raised the funds necessary to purchase the property, helped in part by a $10,000 donation from the Sagamore, contributions from local residents and a matching grant from Neil and Jane Golub and two anonymous donors, said Sarah Hoffman, the Lake George Land Conservancy’s director of communications. » Continue Reading.